A Key Leadership Lesson from The Vikings Playoff Loss

After having a couple of days to think about the Vikings loss on Sunday to the Saints (I really wanted a Favre-Manning Super Bowl), I realized there’s a great takeaway for anyone trying to do something great:

Your Objective Defines Your Perspective

Question: When is 10 yards worse than 5 yards?
Answer: When 5 yards is what you need to win.

When things don’t go according to plan, it can be easy to lose sight of your objective.

In the final minute of the game, the Vikings had the ball in range for their kicker. However, a botched play set them back about 5 yards and outside their kicker’s range. With another play left, all the Vikings had to do was advance the ball 5 yards, kick the field goal and walk off the field as victors. The objective was a few yards.

As the final play unfolded, the opportunity was right in front of Brett Favre – he had the room to quickly run forward and pick up the needed distance. But he wasn’t looking for it. He was looking further down the field. Favre’s objective wasn’t 5 yards, it was 10.

Unfortunately, he threw an interception and the Vikings went on to lose.

When things are difficult and you’re looking for an opportunity, you have to remember your objective. Your objective defines your perspective. If your objective is off, you’ll be looking in the wrong direction. You’ll try to force opportunities in the wrong areas.

When your objective is off, you’ll miss the opportunity to advance your position or your company’s position. Don’t redefine or misdefine your objective during a setback. Take a breath, remember your objective then go out and hit it. Don’t panic.

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